6 Old Hollywood Movies You Can't Watch Anywhere Now
These classic films may be revered, but they're also hard to find.
Hundreds of movies come out of Hollywood each year, and most of them will be largely forgotten in 60 years' time. But that's not to say that cinematic longevity is ever a guarantee. Despite the recent streaming revolution, many enduring Hollywood classics are in danger of slipping into obscurity, merely because they are nowhere to be found on the major services. Read on for six beloved old films that are much harder to watch than they should be, from noirs to holiday staples.
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Alfred Hitchcock stands toe to toe (in distinctive profile) with the greatest directors who ever lived, yet only one of his films ever won the Best Picture Oscar. His 1940 adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's gothic thriller Rebecca was the director's first American film and ushered to awards glory by producer David O. Selznick. Yet today, you can't find it on any streaming service. If you want to see it, you'll have to track down the pricey Criterion Collection DVD.
Another Hitchcock project, his 1945 thriller Spellbound is in a similar purgatory to Rebecca. Starring Ingrid Bergman as a psychoanalyst who begins to believe that her boss/lover (Gregory Peck) is as unwell as any of their patients and also possibly planning her murder, the movie is not available on a single streaming service. All of the DVD editions are out of print, meaning that you'd have to pay a pretty penny to own Spellbound on physical media, as well.
All That Heaven Allows (1955)
Dismissed in its time as yet another melodrama, Douglas Sirk's 1955 film All That Heaven Allows is now regarded as a masterpiece of social drama and inspired Todd Haynes' acclaimed 2002 pastiche Far From Heaven, starring Julianne Moore and Dennis Haysbert. Unfortunately, you can't watch it on demand—it's not available for streaming or digital rental. Again, the Criterion Collection DVD is your best bet for this classic.
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Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
This unusual noir thriller could just as easily be classified as science fiction, telling the story of an atomic-age private eye who wanders into a conspiracy involving a hitchhiker and a mysterious briefcase. Its moody cross-genre flair made it a favorite of director Quentin Tarantino but wasn't enough to get it onto a streaming service. Once again, the cheap DVDs are out of print—you'll have to spring for the collector's edition.
Sweet Charity (1969)
For musical fans, it's a landmark: The first film directed by Bob Fosse, a slightly wobbly but distinctive cinematic adaptation of his own Broadway hit. Starring Shirley MacLaine in the part originated on stage by Fosse's wife and muse Gwen Verdon (she was assistant choreographer on the adaptation), kicked off Fosse's filmography—he'd go on to win an Oscar for directing Cabaret—but good luck catching Charity on your TV screen. The movie isn't streaming anywhere.
They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)
This dark story from Sydney Pollack has a hook so good it inspired an episode of Gilmore Girls 30 years later. The original movies follows the drama that unfolds around the contestants in a Depression-era dance contest, all of them desperately in need of the $1,500 cash prize. They Shoot Horses, Don't They? stars Jane Fonda and was nominated for nine Oscars, including Best Actress. Regardless, it's not on any streaming service, and the DVD is out of print.